Recently the Senior Minister of a local church outlined his strategy for mission as one of seeking the “Low hanging fruit”. By this he meant that the ‘target’ for the church’s missional activity would be those members of society who for some reason are relatively church-friendly. For the most part this means those who come from a Christendom culture, i.e. European.
This reminded me of a newspaper headline I saw yesterday which read ‘Migrant Nation Born as Christian Heritage Fades’. This headline was a part summary of the results of the just released 2016 national census. This revealed, that for the first time the majority of overseas born residents now come from Asia rather than Europe, indicating the now long term and ongoing cultural churn that is taking place.
‘This shows that ‘church-friendliness’ is an ever fading fragrance’
The census also revealed that the number of Aussies ticking the ‘No-Religion’ box has risen from 22.6% in 2011 to 29.6%, now well ahead of any denominational allegiance, with Catholics a distant second at 22% and those identifying as Anglican falling once more to 13%. This shows that ‘church-friendliness’ is an ever fading fragrance.
The message is that firstly, our mission is now no longer to an ethnically European society but to a multi-ethnic smorgasbord, and missional methods need to be designed to suite,
Secondly, it is the case that those depending on reaching the ‘low hanging fruit’ as their main missional strategy will find they need a longer ladder!